You want to learn how to write a business proposal? Then read on.
Writing a business proposal is one most important things every entrepreneur should learn to do. If ever you are seeking for a contract from an organization, submitting a business proposal is an important step you should take for both private and government bodies. A good business proposal can be the reason for businesses securing a contract and those that don’t.
While a business plan will help you secure investors, loan knowing how to write a business proposal is a very important skill that every entrepreneur should develop.
In this article, I will explain every facet of writing a business proposal. Knowing how to write a business proposal and how to write a winning business proposal – is quite different. And here you will learn to do just that.
How To Write A Business Proposal
Before you can proceed to write your proposal, you need to carefully understand every step explained here. Without further ado, here are the necessary steps on how to write a business proposal:
Step 1: Carefully Study The Requirements Of The Request For Proposal
Two forms of a business proposal can be submitted to an organization; the solicited proposal and unsolicited proposal. A solicited proposal is the one the organization has asked you to submit, while unsolicited is the one you deem necessary.
In whatever capacity your proposal is going to be; your first assignment is to study the organization and the need for the proposal.
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Assuming you are submitting to a government agency about the installation of Solar Systems and Securities. Carefully know the benefits of the project to them. And also be careful when you exaggerate what you can do. It will be better to underestimate and over-deliver. This will even make them give you more contracts or recommend you.
But in a situation whereby you exaggerate and fail to deliver, that may cost you their trust for future jobs.
Another thing you have to consider before submitting a solicited business proposal is the stipulated requirement. If the bid request for a certain document and your company doesn’t have it, you should consider not submitting a proposal at all, as this will give a bad impression about your company.
Step 2: Make Further Inquiries:
Of cause, you don’t want to submit a proposal and get knocked out. Your aim should be to win the contract.
To properly fit yourself with the requesting organization and meet the need of the contract, you need to ask all the questions that are relevant to the contract. To do this, you could get help from companies that have carried out a similar project. If you know companies that have submitted a business proposal to the requesting organization, you could ask them how the process was.
2015 I was working with a security company in Port Harcourt. One way we get clients – government agencies was submitting an unsolicited proposal. But before we do that, we try to identify with an insider. An insider knows better ways to go about proposals in their organization. So, you too can identify with an insider before you write your proposal.
Further, here are some questions you could ask that are essential on how to write a business proposal:
- Why are they outsourcing the service?
- Is there a fixed budget for this project?
- What do they want to achieve with the project?
- Have they tried to execute this project themselves, if yes, what was the outcome - the results they get?
- When do they want this project to be completed?
- What will be the criteria for evaluating the business proposals?
If you have found the answers to the above question, then ask yourself these:
- Can I solve this problem? If the answer is no, don’t submit the proposal.
- How can my company execute this project better than others?
- How can I present my company as the best fit to provide the solution to their problems?
Step 3: Outline the Scope Of The Project:
At this stage of your proposal, you need to outline the steps necessary for the project. Clearly outline how your company intends to execute the project and the human resources necessary.
Here are some things you need to outline.
- Who: in every facet of a business, the “who” is always important to be well defined. So, who are the people in your team to manage the project; if a problem arises, who will the requesting organization run to? The “who” of your proposal includes every person that will take charge of the project execution and sometimes even to maintenance.
- What: the sole aim of the project is to meet with the client’s expectations. Hence, you should be able to clearly define the “what” of the project in terms of; what the client wants to achieve – the expectations, the amount you need to carry out the project, the materials that will be needed, and others.
- Where: you must familiarize yourself with where the job will be done and where the completed projected will be delivered. Some projects require that you be on-site, while others require that you “do your thing” and deliver it to the site. All these must be put into consideration.
- When: Time is of essence. As such, you should define when to start and when the project will be completed. Further, you would want to clarify when payment should be made.
- How: in your proposal, you should be able to explain how the project will be managed. Of cause, you don’t want to indulge in a haphazard project. Do you have an appropriate measure for risk? How long will it take for the project to be completed and its benefit to the requesting organization would give you an edge over other applicants.
- Why: why should the organization choose you among others? What is your selling point? Explain why your approach to the project is best compared to others.
Step 4: Prepare To Deliver The Value
This is a very important stage because it goes a long way in determining whether or not the requesting organization will choose your plan over the rest. So, after you have mapped out the project outline, the next step is to prepare yourself, and team, to deliver the value you are proposing, and also show how it will be done for the organization. prepare to live on the promise you have made.
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Step 5: Write Your Business Proposal
If you have carefully followed the steps above, at this stage you should have properly understood your client’s wants and needs. Hence, you are in a better position to provide the needed value more than anyone. You can now start writing the proposal putting into considerations all the key points above.
Here are the components on how to write a business proposal:
Everything has a beginning and your introduction is the start of your business proposal. In this section, you have to introduce your company, detailing all the important aspects of your business, including your mission statement and your company’s unique selling point – that factor that differentiates it from other companies. Keep only points that are relevant to the project.
The length of the introduction will be based on the nature of the contract you are seeking.
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Assuming it’s a contract for a day, you wouldn’t want to produce an encyclopedia of an introduction.
So, you must also understand how long the relationship is supposed to last. If it’s a long term bargaining, them, you have to be more detailed in your introduction.
2). Executive Summary
The executive summary section is very important to your proposal. It does captivate your reader into putting more interest in your proposal. Hence, it should be given a top priority and well crafted.
A very important pitch you could use here is to explain the problem, the solution and why your company is the best fit to handle the project. With this approach, the organization will see that you understand their plight, you know the solution, and thus, you can achieve it.
3). Insert A Table Of Contents
It’s advisable to write a short and straight to point proposal. However, in a situation whereby your proposal is long, it’s important to use a table of content as a road map. With a table of content, your reader would be abreast of the things he or she is expecting to see ahead.
4). Write The body
The body of the proposal will be to provide answers to the previous questions you have asked and answered when you were making further inquiries and developing the outline of the project.
For instance, you will need to explain the resources needed to achieve the target, the time frame – if no time was specified, previous projects you have handled and completed.
Ensure you clearly state what you can do and what you cannot. This will portray you as being honest. Also, if any change in plan will attract extra charges, clearly state it.
In the conclusion is where you will put your call to action. To achieve this, re-emphasize the value of what your company has to offer and why you should be chosen for the project.
Referring to previous jobs you have executed similar to this one preferably. This will further serve as a hook why your company should be chosen.
Some persons like to skip this section. Although it’s not mandatory, take it from me – it adds flavor to all that you have said. Here you can include certifications and awards, customer testimonials, and other evidential documents that will uplift your company status and portray it as the best for the project.
Step 6: Submit Your Business Proposal And Follow Up
Once you have submitted your proposal, the job of writing is done. But then, you need to keep an eye on the proposal to ensure it gets the attention it demands. How can you do that? This you can achieve by doing a follow-up. If you have contact detail of key personnel in the organization, you could call to know “what’s up” with your proposal; if it has been read or not. You could also visit the organization yourself or request an employee you have a good relationship there do a follow up for you. This will show them how serious your company is to work for them.
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Finally, once the job is awarded to your company, ensure you deliver on the promise. If possible, over-deliver. This will help build a further relationship with the organization.
And if you ever need a professional to draft your business proposal for you, you can trust ESY Media to do just that for you. Send a WhatsApp message to +234-806-672-1490.
I hope this publication on how to write a business proposal is helpful?